50 years in gold - the journey of the Wallabies jersey

Thu, 07/07/2011, 02:00 am
by AAP

Australian Rugby Union today announced the Australian Museum would host an historical display of Rugby jerseys and memorabilia that celebrates the Wallabies 50th year in the iconic all Gold Jersey.

Opening at 9:30am on Monday 11 July in the foyer of the Australian Museum the 50 Years in Gold - The Journey of the Wallabies Jersey - display will feature one of the first ever Australian Test Caps from 1899 as well as a range of different Australian Test jerseys and memorabilia stretching from the early 1900’s to the first all Gold Jersey in 1961.

The display will be free of charge and run for two weeks in the lead up to the Qantas Wallabies first Castrol Edge Rugby Test against Samoa on Sunday 17 July and the week prior to the first Castrol Edge Tri Nations Test against the Springboks on Saturday 23 July.

ARU Managing Director and CEO, John O’Neill, said the display was a great reminder of Wallabies history and the move to an all Gold jersey 50 years ago.

“The all Gold Wallabies jersey is one of the most recognisable and iconic sporting jerseys in Australia and arguably the world, and this display celebrates how it came into existence,” Mr O’Neill said.

“The first Australian team to wear it was the 1961 Wallabies squad that toured South Africa, with Ken Catchpole captaining the side. The reason they wore the all gold was to avoid a clash with the Springboks jersey as the Wallabies, at the time, were also wearing green.

“The Australian Museum has been very supportive of the display and recognise the amazing influence the Wallabies and sport in general has had on the country’s growth.

“I encourage families, Rugby fans and historians to get along to the Australian Museum from Monday to check out 50 Years in Gold - The Journey of the Wallabies Jersey.”

Assistant Director, Public Engagement at The Australian Museum, Steven Alderton said the Museum was pleased to host the 50 Years in Gold - The Journey of the Wallabies Jersey - display along-side some archive images from the Museum’s Collection of Samoan warriors in the build-up to the Qantas Wallabies first Castrol Edge Test match against Samoa.

“On Sunday 17 July the Qantas Wallabies will face off against the Samoans and the 50 Years in Gold display will help build the excitement and educate people about how the Gold Jersey came to be, and the cultural influences of the Samoan team,” Mr Alderton said.

“The Wallabies jersey is a unique part of Australia’s identity, it is a mark of who we are and how we present ourselves on the world stage. In turn, sport is a big part of our cultural identity, both here in Australia and the Pacific, and provides a sense of unity and a national personality.”

The 50 Years in Gold - The Journey of the Wallabies Jersey – display will begin on Monday 11 and run until Sunday 24 July in the foyer of the Australian Museum, 6 College Street, Sydney. For more information on the Australian Museum’s opening hours visit www.australianmuseum.net.au.

On Sunday 17 July the display will be moved to ANZ Stadium for the Qantas Wallabies first Castrol Edge Test against Samoa and will return to the Australian Museum on Monday 18 July.

The museum is open between 9.30am to 5pm daily. Entry is free to the foyer of the Museum and the 50 Years in Gold exhibition.

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